“Not the Kind of Coat the Wife Wanted” – Eddyville, PA (1888)

Mr. W. H. Brumbaugh had a problem.

He had purchased a coat for his wife; the seller was Mr. J. A. Gault of Kittanning, PA.

Kittanning is a borough on the Allegheny River about 35 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

In the late 19th century, this area was booming with industries related to coal extraction and iron manufacturing.


Mr. Brumbaugh lived with his wife in Eddyville, a small unincorporated community around a grist mil, store, and several other small businesses.

Eddyville no longer has those businesses; the Post Office was closed in 1907. 


The coat that Mr. Brumbaugh intended for his wife was unpleasing to her.

In January of 1888, Mr. Brumbaugh sent a postcard on which he explains that his gift “was not the kind of a coat the wife wanted now.”

Mr. Brumbaugh wishes to know if Mr. Gault will “take the same back in exchange for another one”.

The coat was purchased just “last Monday” and will be “returned to you as good as when I got it”.

Alas, we do not have any subsequent correspondence between the two, and can only imagine the outcome of Mr. Brumbaugh’s plea.

One hopes that Mr. Gault accepted the offer to exchange the coat, and that Mrs. Brumbaugh was delighted by the replacement.

In the future, Mr. Brumbaugh might consider having his wife choose her own clothes.


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